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14.09.2002 General News

Fight Over Kejetia

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THE MANAGEMENT of Freko FD Ltd, manager of the Kumasi Kejetia Terminal, has reacted to allegations of exploitation levelled against it by the Ashanti Regional secretariat of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU).

The union had, at a previous press conference, referred to alleged exploitation and extortion of monies from drivers and commercial transport operators with the connivance of Freko Ltd.

The GPRTU expressed doubts if Freko Ltd actually won the bid to manage the terminal and further accused the company of operating beyond Ashanti.

Responding to the allegations of extortion, the Operations manager of Freko Ltd, Mr. Osei Nkrumah said the union's Senior Industrial Relations Officer, Mr. Issah M. Khalepha was only being mischievous and blatantly ignorant since fee fixing in the Metropolis was the prerogative of the KMA and that Freko Ltd as management company had no hand in fixing fees at the terminal.

Osei Nkrumah also described as outrageous, infantile and scandalous on the part of Khalepha to doubt the integrity of the KMA tender Board and assert that Freko Ltd did not win the bid to manage the terminal manager Nkrumah noted that Khalepha might be peeved by the fact that a limited liability company which the GPRTU formed failed to win the bid.

The said company was the result that no transport union was eligible to tender a bid for the said terminal. It was disclosed that what the company offered in the tender to pay KMA in a year is less than what Freko Ltd is currently paying in a month.

The management of Freko Ltd has urged the KMA to break its silence on the bid for the Kejetia terminal to put the matter to rest once and for all.

To the assertions that the MD, management and staff of Freko Ltd wee not professionals, the company referred to the paltry ¢20 million professionals like GPRTU paid to KMA over a year in respect of all lorry parks in the metropolis when the non professionals (Freko Ltd) pays in "days".

"Even with their professionalism, sanitation, security and maintenance were non existent in those days against the situation over the last few months Freko ltd has operated there.

The top executives of GPRTU, according to Osei Nkrumah, has sold out its office block at kejetia for ClOO million hence the pressure to acquire new offices at the Kejetia terminal.

With regards to operations outside Ashanti region, Nkrumah said the GPRTU, which was yet to shed off its political "apparel" was only being hypocritical. He mentioned that Derma/Techiman stations at the terminal were being Bibiani in the Western region, Dunkwa in the central region and Koforidua and Nkawkaw in the eastern region.

Nkrumah announced that the leadership of the union were in constant touch with the management of freko Ltd. to create stations for Sunyani, Goaso and even Kasapin all in the brong Ahafo regions and pointed to the fact that if there were hard and fast rules regarding destinations, it was the GPRTU which first flouted these rules.

GPRTU allegations come at the trail of previous attempts by other companies to engage freko Ltd. in legalities over the bid to manage Kejetia terminal without success.

Meanwhile, the reaming six transport unions have jointly condemned GPRTU' s "misguided and deliberate attempts to unjustifiably malign the KMA and the Freko Ltd".

The concerned transport unions namely Co-operative, Concern, Positive, All tops, Unity and Vigilance, described such attempts as "wicked and callous and that GPRTU's accusation that KMA and Freko Ltd connived to extort monies from drivers was unfair and unfounded because all transport unions agreed to new tolls introduced by the KMA at a meeting.

The named transport unions have registered their displeasure about GPRTU' s control of all lorry parks in the metropolis and appealed to the KNA to decentralise GPRTU's monopoly on the lorry parks at Asafo market, New Tafo, race Course and banatama in accordance with Legislative Instrument 1614 of 1995 which states that the establishment, maintenance and control of all public parks shall be he duty of the Assembly (KMA).

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